Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo was very critical of Wednesday’s cabinet caucus with international experts about the petroleum sector and called for the Government to engage more with its own people in formulating a plan for the burgeoning oil and gas sector.
Government organised a high-level meeting for members of the cabinet to talk with international experts on developing a strategy for the country’s oil and gas sector. The forum took place on Wednesday at State House.
But Jagdeo at a news conference Thursday labeled the activity as just a “show”, explaining that the Government in the past ignored advice it received from industry experts. While noting that international advice is good, the Opposition Leader called for the Government to interact more with the local experts and civil society.
“They haven’t seen it fit to include the opposition, they haven’t seen it fit to engage civil society in a manner that will address their concerns,” the former President told reporters.
In fact, he said the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is more than willing to talk with the Government. Jagdeo said with national issues like this, the PPP supports an apolitical approach.
The Opposition Leader reasoned that the Government does not even have to formally engage the PPP.
“We’ve been saying it publicly, they don’t even need to bring us to the table but at least, you’d think that I a country where we have 32 seats and they have 33 seats, that they’d want to do it,” he said.
Two critical institutions which the Government has been urged to establish before the inflow of oil revenues are the Sovereign Wealth Fund and the Petroleum Commission.